At the risk of continuing the "circle jerk," I just got my final grade, in property and wanted to talk a little bit about it to close my portion of what I learned.
Property: This was an extremely, extremely tough class for me. The professors gave it a strong law and economics bent, something I was not particularly familiar or comfortable with. On the second day of class, he completely lost me talking about the Coase Theorem, sending me scurrying to the supplements. The professor's class was almost like a weird performance art stand-in for law school - if people didn't answer his questions within two second, he was apt to launch a lecture about what a bunch of slackers we were. This happened usually several times a day.
Because the material was so difficult for me, preparation was difficult. I had to study in between classes, usually reading the day of class, which is a lot of pressure with dense material. I began hard-core finals study during Thanksgiving weekend, going back and re-reading the casebook. Not just outlining, not just going over my notes, but re-reading (or, to be truthful, reading for the first time) cases, notes, and thinking through the problems in the book. I leaned heavily on the Gilbert's guide, which was written by my professor, as well as some future interests supplements, particularly the one by Evans. I tried to understand the Rule Against Perpetuities, but saved it for the last night before the exam, because otherwise I knew I'd lose it. I suspect I still missed questions on it. The exam was mostly multiple choice, with more than one possible answer per question. We had a five-day break between the end of classes and this exam, six if you count the evening of the last day of classes. I studied every last second of it except when I was sleeping. No comparable practice exams from the professor, so I had to use the Gilbert's guide questions along with the Kaplan's book that's available with lots of multiple choice.
My outline was probably about 15-20 pages. Can't recall if I referred to it during the exam. Probably not. I never seem to.
Overall GPA after two semesters: 3.818
I can't agree with the people who say that hard work doesn't correlate with performance. I suspect I'm in the bottom 10 percent of intelligence among my classmates, but probably the top 10 percent (maybe not - I honestly have no idea how Michigan's curve sets up) in grades so far. The biggest key has been my work, not just the time put in, but the use of time, especially close to finals. I don't waste much motion. I don't outline just to feel like I'm doing something. I force myself to think through hypotheticals and so forth, even though it's draining. One more word - I don't use any artificial means. I've never taken an Adderral or Ritalin or anything else like that. Wouldn't know where to find it if I wanted to.
This has honestly been the most humbling seven months of my life. My classmates are, quite simply, amazing. The work and mental endurance required to even have a chance at above the median in each class staggers me.
I'm sorry if this seems like circle jerking or showing off to post this stuff, but this site, along with older law students who I knew, was so helpful for me in preparing for both the LSAT and, particularly, law school, that I almost feel a moral obligation to help others find their way based on my experiences to this point. I know the Internet breeds cynicism, but I'm sincere in this.